Academic programme and training opportunities

Earth system scientists require a strongly interdisciplinary understanding. Doctoral candidates are encouraged to broaden their base of knowledge by attending seminars from high-profile visiting scientists, by taking courses on subjects relevant to their topic, and by participating in summer schools, conferences and workshops. A structured supervision programme ensures that candidates are enjoying the best possible academic support throughout their studies.

Key components of academic training in IMPRS-ESM

For a first start into the topic of Climate Change, Risks and Challenges you could have a go at the online Climate Course provided by DKK Deutsches Klima Konsortium.
This is a MOOC - Massive Open Online Course.

Advisory Panel system

IMPRS-ESM uses an ‘Advisory Panel system’ to structure supervision of doctoral studies. Advisory Panels comprise three experienced scientists and are elected early in a doctoral term. From the beginning each PhD candidate has a primary advisor formally recognised by IMPRS-ESM. Candidate and primary advisor jointly take responsibility for the definition and design of the doctoral research. A co-advisor complements the scientific expertise of the primary advisor and a senior academic with experience in doctoral training serves as the Panel Chair. Panel Chairs are knowledgeable in the research topic but have no relation to the research group and thus function as a peer reviewer for the School. Regular bi-annual meetings provide quality and progress control to ensure timely completion of advanced research studies.

Download the pamphlet ‘Advisory Panel system’ for detailed information.

External training opportunities

IMPRS-ESM encourages doctoral candidates to complement their individual academic training by actively participating in scientific conferences and workshops, both national and international. IMPRS-ESM offers each doctoral candidate a small annual budget to travel and participate in such scientific activities. It is up to the doctoral candidate to find appropriate training opportunities and to negotiate with advisors and IMPRS-ESM as to the best use of their travel budget.


IMPRS-ESM runs a flexible curriculum!
A few principal teaching units are offered repeatedly including

Please note: The majority of IMPRS-ESM courses are offered according to demand from participants and the interests of the lecturers. Doctoral candidates choose courses based on their own scientific interest and to best complement their personal training scheme. PhD candidates earn a minimum of 12 IMPRS-ESM credit points throughout their doctoral term.
Credit points may also be gained for online courses of different external providers. The IMPRS-ESM office provides a list of online courses that have been taken by our PhD candidates.

IMPRS-ESM also encourages doctoral candidates to pursue courses offered by the following

Winter semester 2022/23

Title (Lecturer)DatesTime/PlaceCrd.
S_39 Generic Academic Skills (UHH course) (Jochem Marotzke)17 Oct 2022 - 30 Jan 2023Mondays
15:00 -17:00
Bu53, room 101
E_122 Energy and Climate (UHH course) (Bjorn Stevens)18 Oct 2022 - 31 Jan 2023Tuesdays
Bu53, room 022/23
E_169 Land Processes and Carbon Feedbacks (UHH course) (Victor Brovkin)20 Oct 2022 - 2 Feb 2023Thursdays
GB5, room 006
E_37 Meteorological Statistics (UHH course) (Jinsong von Storch)21 Oct 2022 - 3 Feb 2023Fridays
Geomatikum, room 1536c
S_41 Advanced Scientific Writing (J. Marotzke & D. Murphy)6 - 10 February 202309:00 - 16:00
Bu53, room tbd

Summer semester 2022

Title (Lecturer)DatesTime/PlaceCrd.
S_36 Climate Dynamics (UHH course) (Jochem Marotzke)starting 4 April 22Mondays
room 022/23
2 (+2 credits for course report)
I_01 Introduction to Earth System Science and Modelling
(Bjorn Stevens et al.)

20 - 28 June 22

room 1729
S_91 Roads to Resilience (B. Pause)29.6. + 12.7.(online) + 15.8.Geomatikum
room 1729
S_90 Good Scientific Code (George Datseris)20 - 21 July10:00 - 18:00
room 022/023
IMPRS Annual Retreat 7 - 9 September 22Bad Segeberg-
I_10 EaSyMS Earth System Modeling School (C. Reick et al)16 - 23 September 22Geomatikum, 15th floor2